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What a dream! I am very suprised she hasn't been adopted yet! Sadly I ride western. Hmm, I wonder with some training...


Any updates on Athena?

Scott: MHWF
Not sure what kind of updates there are to share, but can say this...

When Athena was donated she had shoes on and we were told she was tender-footed. Since she was not going to be worked and was only going to be out to pasture we pulled her shoes.

Several weeks after pulling her shoes we started to see some weight loss on her. A little later on we started seeing pretty obvious lameness.

In regard to her weight loss, it did not matter what or how much extra we fed her, she would not gain a single pound. Assuming she had been on a regular worming schedule before she came here, we had her teeth checked and were surpised to see that they had very recently been floated. So at that point we had no idea why all the weight loss.

On worming and trimming day, Athena got wormed and trimmed like the rest of the horses. I found it very odd that when I wormed her she had no reaction, as if she had no idea what it was that I just put in her mouth. Within a couple of days after being wormed, she started gaining weight and lots of her hair fell out. She was obviously infested and now that she is clear of worms she no longer needs any grain and is gaining weight and looking much better, better weight, better and healthier coat.

She also went dead lame after being trimmed. We put her on bute and have been keeping a very close eye on her. After having the vet evaluate her feet and lameness, we came to this conclusion:

1. Athena has very thin soles.
2. Her hoof angle was way off and needed to be changed.

So we just started doing the sugardine/baby diaper wraps on her feet to toughen them up annd harden the soles.

Her toes were brought way back to match the angle of her shoulder, a pretty drastic change from the way she was being trimmed before she got here.

With the more strict worming plan, she is gaining weight very well, changing her hoof angle and hardening her soles should solve her tenderness and lameness issues. All of it will just take a little time.

It's disappointing to have such a nice horse with those issues, but at least they are relatively easy fixes. It's good to know it's nothing long-term (after the initial fix).

Christine- MN
I hope these things will fix the issues she is having. She is such a lovely horse, it's good to see she is getting the help she needs and will hopefully be sound again soon.
This is very disturbing news.  I am so sorry Athena has been a subject of this but in the gaited world this is all too often normal practice with the feet.  Many horses are padded or trimmed in order to get the gaite the people want and think nothing of the horse itself.  In the TWH world, they add heavy pads and chains to make the horse pick up their feet high to avoid the pain.  I do not believe nor support soaring in any shape or form as the horse in pain.  Thank you for taking the time to see thru these problems and help Athena out.
Scott: MHWF

We have all heard the nightmare stories of what people are willing to put their horses through to enhance their performance, but we want to make clear that we do not feel this is or was the case with Athena. The shoes were put on her to give her relief from the stiffness of having thin soles. There is a little more to it than that, but to what extent we do not know yet. Right now Athena is pretty sore. She has some major changes done to her hooves and we expected this, but still needed to change the angle of her feet by quite a bit. She was ALL toe and the hoof was growing outward instead of downward. This led to her standing on those thin soles and gave her a lot of discomfort. We do fully expect Athena to come sound again, but it might take a little time. Her feet have been altered quite a bit.


...so grateful things are being made right for this mare.  When this is all worked out, someone will get a very nice horse. 


I LOVE Athena, if I had the $ right now I'd come get her!

Hey guys, How's Athena doing? Feet? Weight? Would she be an endurance prospect or do her thin soles prevent distance riding? Just found out I have spinal stenosis (UGH--must be getting OLD) and a gaited horse might allow me to continue my love of riding. --Christie
MHWF, Inc.
Taken from the "Day to Day" thread...


A few people have been asking how Athena is doing. She is doing ok. Her weight is back up a bit and her winter hair is coming in. Her feet had some major work done and are growing really slowly, so she is still tender footed, but is showing a tiny bit of improvement every day. She will come sound again. it is just going to take some time, more than a week or two. In the meantime we ordered some barrier boots for her tiny little feet to help give her some comfort. They should be here in a few days.

Update: 11/22/2010

The barrier boots keep coming off in the mud, but the ground is soft right now anyway. As soon as the ground freezes we will put her boots back on. With the boots or soft ground she is moving around pretty decent, not great, but much better.

Karen, THX for responding and sorry I hadn't looked at the day to day thread. You certainly had enough on your plate today w/ Sierra... sorry for taking time away from matters at hand (and heart). Y'all take care, Christie
MHWF, Inc.
Hi Christie,

No problem at all.  That was me who responded. Karen always posts as Karen. I like to post as Scott when I am giving my personal comments or thoughts, and as MHWF when it is "official" MHWF info......LOL. 
You should be ridden on the pavement like that and see how your legs and feet feel. Sorry, but ANYONE that rides or works a horse on concrete or ANY pavement of any kind should be punished.
I've been training "gaited" horses for years and NEVER have I ever put a horse on pavement to HEAR their gait. Use wood or something else that isn's a SHOCK to their feet.
Hi Steve, why don't you tell us how you REALLY feel?  :)  (joking) 

On a serious note, just to let you know the videos are shot with the trainer that had Athena before she ever came here to us at MHWF.  We did not make those videos nor ride Athena on concrete or have anything to do with those videos.  I am not really sure if they did that just once with her for the videos or what the deal is there, I really can't comment on that.  We have had some opinions from various professionals regarding Athena and her feet and the way they were trimmed (unbalanced, long toe, etc.) and how they should be trimmed.  She was shod when she came to us and we were told she was "tender footed".  We are hoping that she can be sound without shoes, but she is wearing boots now and doing very well, and if she will need shoes, then she will need shoes, but we are going to try our best to do the best for her in that regard.  She is doing very well and continues to improve steadily. 
Hi Steve, I'm not arguing, just curious as I'm new-ish to the horse world. Are you saying NO horses should be worked on pavement (ie. mounted police, carriage tours, Amish, parades, et)? Thx for your insight. p.s Are you a local gaited trainer? I'm researching the gaited breeds for my next endurance mount. Maybe we could chat?
Unfortunately, I've seen too many people ride Paso Finos on hard surfaces and gravel to showcase a fino gait. That's just wrong. I get stone bruises, knee pain and shin splits just thinking about it. Sound boards are built with plywood and provide a giving surface that also provides nice acoustics for their wonderful 4-beat gait.

I've been spoiled by my Pasos' smooth gait. At 55, I don't like to be jarred around and don't particularly care to post. Riding a Paso is amazing!  :-)

I'm still interested in Athena and hope her recovery is still coming along smoothly. Do you continue to be happy with her progress?

Wishing you, and all the horses at MWHWF, a very Happy New Year!
Thank you Sue, I hope you had a very Merry Christmas too! 

Yes, Athena continues to progress with her feet.  It is a long process that only time and growth can tell, but she is doing well and so far so good.  :)  We will have to give you a call when the holidays are behind us to chat again Sue. 
I have a few questions.... in the picture taken on 7/02/10, the one of Athena and Bob.... what about Bob? Is he one of your own personal horses or was he adopted out? I ask due to the fact I REALLY like him.
I hope things are still improving for Athena, she is beautiful also.

What's the latest on Athena's foot condition? 

MHWF, Inc.
Athena is doing pretty well. Her feet are now normal and correct and she is moving very nicely now.

She has run into a few snags however. She has a hard time maintaining her proper weight and she has extremely dry skin for some reason. With her weight we assumed the problem was either dental work or worms, neither has turned out to be the case. We had her teeth floated a second time just to make sure and have been putting her on a fairly heavy wormer rotation. While she has not dropped any weight, she hasn't put much back on either. We brought her out of the pasture for about 6 weeks where we could watch her more closely and give her grain, senior feed and fat supplements twice a day. After 6 weeks she hadn't put on much weight.

So, while we are happy with her feet and movement, we have not completely solved the issue she has with her weight. Worming is not an issue, her teeth look great, she is eating like a king, but we are not 100% satisifed with her weight and the dry skin problem just yet. We want to be certain of her health, condition and soundness before we let her go to a new home and are getting close to that point, but we want to keep a close eye on her a while longer before we make the call and say she is 100% and ready to go.

As far as Bob goes, yes he was adopted last fall and his adopter has a thread right here on the forum that she posts photos and updates on a regular basis. I am pretty sure she just posted new photos a few days ago and Bob was the photo of the day about a week or so ago.

Glad to hear about Athena's feet coming along so nicely.  How odd about the lack of weight gain.  I know that you guys will keep thinking and pursueing possibilities; you have such a great gift for working with horses, the anwser will come.

Regarding Athena and her health issues. Have you had blood work done on her? As you probably know, Pasos are very prone to metabolic issues and this could possibly be a case of getting her on the right supplements or meds. She could also be having thyroid problems as well. Just a couple of suggestions.
Scott: MHWF

We do not think these are her issues, but did not rule them out. Last weekend we decided that the next time the vet is out we will have bloodwork done on her.

My very dear and sweet 25 yr old Peruvian paso mare just passed over a couple weeks ago.  I am still grieving!  What a sweet girl and wonderful ride she was!  My 24 yr old peruvian gelding just passed over last winter due to cancer!  I am heartsick!  I absolutely love the paso's (both breeds)....Athena is a gorgeous mare!  I am putting in my application today...hope I am approved. 
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